I've been writing this blog since 2005 when I decided that nothing would stop me from traveling to the heart of yoga. On March 25, 2005 I entitled my first blog post "no turning back". I was reminded that I started planning for my trip in 2004, only two years after I became a teacher.
I smiled when I read that first post today because I remembered my naivety about India. I wore my rose-colored glasses the first time and now Indians ask me if I live there. Words like Gangaikondacholapuram roll off my tongue without a second thought.
I was 51 and had never been overseas in my life and I went alone to a country that many people warned me against. But when I took my first step on Indian soil the feeling was primal -- I knew I had come home and I never looked back. If I have to explain that you wouldn't understand because words are not adequate to describe what I felt, a feeling I remember as if it was yesterday.
Reading the words that I wrote in 2005 --
"I've been told by an akashic record reader that when I go to India, I will "disappear". Not literally, but that I will melt into that world as if I were going back home."
-- chilled me because that certainly happened. There has not been one single day since I returned from my first trip that I do not think of India. I guess that's obsession. But not attachment. Because even if I never returned to Ma India, my memories would last several lifetimes.
I also knew that I had to deepen my personal yoga practice because when I got back into yoga in the mid-90s I was like a sponge, and I knew in my heart that this sponge had to soak up everything yoga before I died. So off I went to the school named after the father of modern yoga and it changed my practice and my teaching forever.
I don't know why I started blogging because I am usually a very private person. I don't like people knowing my business, never have. I guess it was merely to chronicle my trip and my yoga experience in India like a diary. I never really thought anyone would read what is now over 300 posts. I have strong opinions that I don't apologize for at my age and like spicy South Indian food, I am an acquired taste. But read you have.
What has amazed me about the blogging experience are the people I have "met" in the yoga blogosphere. I've written honestly and authentically about some very shabby treatment I've experienced in the yoga world and I received more support from my readers -- people I don't know and have never met -- than from yoga people in my own backyard and for that I thank you.
It also overwhelms me that people have emailed me or left comments about how my posts have inspired them in some way. Sigh.
I've "met" people who I would dig practicing and hanging out with in the real world. Yoginis like Brenda, Svasti, Amanda, Nadine, Fernanda, and Roseanne, plus others like my thankachi (Tamil for "younger sister") FlowerGirl. We need some testosterone in the mix so YogaDawg, too. He gave me the YogaDawg Seal of Approval a long time ago. I have a feeling we all practiced together in some past lives somewhere.
So I was amazed and overwhelmed again when Roseanne picked "this is my real yoga" as one of her Top 15 Yoga Blog Posts of 2009. It did my heart good because I used to be a writer of poetry who won a few awards back in the day (I actually took a grad course in Ezra Pound), so to be recognized for my prose is very nice. Roseanne was an editor of ascent magazine which was my favorite yoga magazine. Thanks, Roseanne, and y'all go check out the other fab 14 yoga blog posts.
I will be gone for two months starting in January and I like to disconnect from my life here as much as possible so I don't know if I will be blogging at all. I wanted to keep all my previous posts about India in another blog so I moved my old posts to Ma India, My India, -- you can check there for any future updates. Good stuff, so read!
Just like 2005 was a new chapter in my life, I feel that my upcoming trip will be just as momentous, maybe more so. I've been told -- just like a spiritual adept foretold my reaction to India in 2005 -- that it will be "life changing."
Who knows? I take everything with a huge grain of salt. But whatever happens, good, bad, or indifferent, I am grateful for it all because it's always about the journey, isn't it?